A kind of wild justice

Say hello to Mr. Poe. Not the first of us travelers in the shadows but absolutely one of the best.

His presence- well, his image-– isn't related to the subject of this address. He's just here to commemorate the Holiday Season.

Take your Christmas and your Chanukah. Take your Kwanza and your Ramadan. We darklings know. We know the best holiday of all is October 31st. We know and we know why.

Now. Tonight's topic.


I'm a fan of it. I know you're not supposed to feel that way in these enlightened times. I know we're all supposed to strive for harmony with our neighbors and to embody as best we can the so-called Golden Rule. On a certain level I even agree with that sentiment. The problem is, there's something so tasty about the suffering of someone who done you wrong. Something so scale-balancingly Right that I just can't seem to put that particular addiction down.

My friends tell me it's a quick path to the Dark Side. They say civilization is our collective attempt to rise above the kneejerk violent response to some deep offense. To seek or enjoy revenge is to be uncivilized, to be out of fashion. They like to think that humanity is above such petty concerns as taking pleasure in an enemy's misfortune or, if you're REALLY lucky, causing a bit of that misfortune yourself.

Really? I don't know. Seems like we've been in the revenge biz for quite a while. We make our loved ones pay for not remembering our birthdays or anniversaries. We make our children pay for not achieving or being what we think they should. We make our leaders pay for going the wrong way even when we may have pointed them that way in the first place. If that's not revenge, I don't know the stuff.

In the old eye-for-an-eye days, the rule was, if one of yours got hurt, three of theirs got killed. If some of yours got killed then ALL of theirs and all of their friends and all of their friends' friends took the dirt nap. And their children and their pets and the guy who happened to shake hands with them while waiting for the crosstown chariot to stop and cart them off to the Coliseum.


Maybe those old eye-for-an-eye days aren't as far behind as some like to pretend. We don't even need to cross the ocean to see folks burning down the whole house just to score points on somebody who once scored on them.

Crips vs Bloods. Dems vs Rebs. Red vs Blue. North vs South. Rap vs Rap. White Supremecists vs well, pretty much the rest of the planet.

Call it the Politics of Personal Destruction or simply The Chicago Way, revenge has been with us since we figured out standing on our hind legs would get us that much closer to the tasty hanging fruit. It'll be with us well past the time we're all cloning ourselves, netlinked and flying around in those antigravity cars the 1960s promised would be here by now.

Not really making an argument here. Not trying to sway anybody this way or that.

I'm just saying revenge is #2 or #3 on Humanity's nightly menu. Served cold or hot it's the bona fide Blue Plate Special.

So we thought we'd provide an example.

Happy Halloween.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A very interesting tale. Nicely put together!

Blogger Redjack said...

Thanks. We're working hard. Please tell your friends.

And remember, it's free.


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